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Red-billed Chough

From Opus

Photo by Jamie MacArthur.Lizard, Cornwall
Photo by Jamie MacArthur.
Lizard, Cornwall

Alternative names: Common Chough; Cornish Chough

Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax


[edit] Identification

38 - 41cm (15-16 in). A medium-sized corvid.

  • Red bill which is relatively long, slim and gently decurved
  • Red legs, rather short for a corvid
  • Relatively small head
  • Plumage glossy blue-back, glossed greenish on wings and tail
  • Broad, fingered wings prominent in flight

Sexes similar. Juveniles have duller plumage and dull orange bill.

Photo by RJL2005. Wales, June 2007
Photo by RJL2005.
Wales, June 2007

[edit] Similar species

Can be confused with Yellow-billed Chough if bill is not seen. The broad wings with the distinctive fingers are typical for Red-billed Chough.

[edit] Distribution

They breed on the west coast of Great Britain, mainly in Cornwall, Wales and Islay in Scotand; the Isle of Man and Ireland. Southern Europe and the Mediterranean basin, the Alps

It breeds in Great Britain, the Isle of Man, Ireland, southern Europe and the Mediterranean basin, the Alps, and in mountain areas across central Asia, India and China.

There is also an isolated population in the Ethiopian highlands.
Locally common. Has declined in part of its range, especially in Europe.

[edit] Taxonomy

Hybrids with Yellow-billed Chough have been reported.

[edit] Subspecies

Eight subspecies accepted[1]:

[edit] Habitat

Coastal cliffs and high mountain pastures. Up to 6000m in the Himalayas and reported at 7950m near Mount Everest.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

Diet consists almost entirely of insects and terrestrial molluscs, including craneflies and beetles

[edit] Breeding

They build their nests in crevices of caves or cliffs. The nests are constructed from roots and stems of plants such as heather or furze, and are lined with hair or wool. The clutch consists of 3-6 eggs which are laid in April-May in western Europe.

[edit] Movements

A resident species with some altitudinal movements.

[edit] Vocalisation

It has a loud, ringing call chee-ow.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, JF. 2008. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2008. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2009. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553507
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved March 2017)
  4. Wikipedia

[edit] External Links


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